How does roleplaying work?

Hello, my pretties! How are you all? Doing well, I hope! I’m doing well… a bit bored of being home and waiting for my turn to be vaccinated to come (we’re still working on the elderly population here, so I need to be patient). How is vaccination going where you all are? I’m curious!

Pleasantries aside, I came here to talk about roleplaying today. Again. First things first, I want to add the disclaimer that this is not about anything sexual. That’s better left for another blogger, I suppose.

This is about the game or collaborative writing kind of roleplay. I do mention it here often, so I thought I’d talk about it in more general terms just so we’re all on the same page

We’re going to talk about two kinds of roleplaying here: roleplaying games and the kind of roleplaying I do, which has very little of the “game” aspect and a lot of the “roleplaying” aspect.

Role-playing games, or RPGs, are something a lot of people has probably heard of. If you have ever heard of Dungeons and Dragons, you have heard of RPGs. There are other systems as well, of course – such as GURPS, the World of Darkness (old and new), and others. If someone can remember others, please comment on them, I’m sure I’m forgetting something important!

Roleplaying, without the gaming element, is what I usually mean when I post here. It’s simply when a group or pair of people come together, choose a setting, create characters, and start creating a story together, by playing their main characters and several other side characters (those would be the NPCs on role-playing games) to craft a plot until completion, or until everyone involved gets bored.

This second kind is much more flexible, in my opinion. You get to choose the venue – face to face, via some voice chatting system, email, discord, forums, or pretty much any kind of communication system you choose. When it’s a one-on-one relationship, you get even more flexible, as you don’t have to worry about turns. When you have a group, you need a little more work on making things organized, storing character sheets, recording the important info, whatever it happens to be, etc. In my case, I tend to store everything in a Google Doc or shared folder, so everyone involved can have access to the important info in one place, or, if everyone is in agreement, create forums to store all of it within the same site we’re writing our stories. If the roleplay involves a group, I usually also create some house rules to deal with chance, establishing what we dice roll for and what each result means. I do try to keep the roleplays dice mechanics-light, though, as I don’t usually do combat-heavy plots.

Well… I’m thinking of more things about how I deal with roleplays, but I can’t really think of much more to say, as I currently only have a few one-on-one stories happening on Discord, and those are with a close friend and my girlfriend, so we have much more leeway to do things as we please!

I might come back to this in the future, if there’s any more to say! Do you have questions, opinions, or anything to add that I might have forgotten? Talk to me in the comments!

See you on the next post!

Where do you find inspiration to post?

black choker on beige scarf
Photo by Jane Pham on Pexels.com

Hello, my pretties! How are you all? Doing well and staying safe, I hope! I’ve been doing well enough, still working part time, though I suspect it will end soon as work is picking up quickly and our customers are going back to work! As I still have time to blog, I’ll take advantage of it and try to keep both of my blogs updated until work swallows me again!

Speaking of blogs, I would love to know where you, my blogger friends, get inspiration for your posts!

As for me… everywhere would be a good way to say it. Shower thoughts, doing the dishes thoughts, reading some other blog, a conversation with friends, a book I’m reading… pretty much any and everything can inspire me. Whenever I am reading more blogs, I always get inspired to share my own take in whatever my fellow bloggers have written about, though it usually happens after a few weeks, as I keep a pretty long list of themes.

I am curious about you all, though. Is there any specific brainstorming exercise you swear by? Or do you, like me, take inspiration from everything around you?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

See you on the next post!

I wish there was a year-round NaNoWriMo

Hello, my pretties! How are you all? Doing well, I hope!

I’m doing just fine! Back from a week off work, and hoping to keep up with my posting schedule for this year, which will require a lot of writing, since I’m now running two blogs (this one and one in Portuguese) and trying to do some more writing on the side.

Speaking of writing… do you guys usually participate on NaNoWriMo? I love NaNoWriMo, but I rarely get to actually participate fully. Something always comes up in November. It’s a super busy month at work, or there is some event, or family comes from out of town, etc etc. But I still love getting the updates from everyone, and the groups that form so people can support one another, it’s all a lot of fun.

It always makes me a little sad when the month ends – because then the whole mood ends and things go back to normal.

To be honest, I wish there would be a year-round “NaNoWriMo”, with everyone holding themselves and others accountable and supporting one another in their writing projects.

What do you guys think? Would you like something of the sort? Who knows, it might be worth the thought! I’d love to hear you opinions in the comments!

See you on the next post!

Blogging etiquette for dummies like me

Hello, my pretties! How are you all? Doing well, I hope! I’m doing well enough – working hard, preparing for a holiday week on call for work, and living the same old life as usual. Here’s hoping everyone who is reading me is having a decent holiday season!

With the greetings out the way, let us jump right into the post, shall we?

Blogging etiquette. This is huge, fellows, trust me.

Alright, I am not an expert on blogging etiquette, or any kind of etiquette, for that matter. So take whatever I have to say here with a grain of salt. Unless you’re watching your sodium intake, I don’t want to ruin anyone’s health!

All joking aside, I thought it would be nice to talk a little about blogging etiquette. These are guidelines, not rules, and I’m definitely not covering everything there is to be covered. I’m sure other bloggers – smarter and more experienced ones – have covered this matter in much more depth than I ever will. But here goes nothing:

  1. Create your own stuff. That should be obvious, but don’t copy other people’s posts. You can approach the same subjects they already have – but use your own words and provide us with your own ideas.
  2. Engage with your readers. Give them a like to their comments, or, even better, actually reply, even if just with a thank you! That means a lot!
  3. Engage with other bloggers in a polite way. Even if you disagree with whatever they have to say, do it politely.
  4. Don’t try to take advantage of other bloggers. We all want visits to our blogs, but spamming links on other people’s spaces is not the way to go. If your comments are meaningful and insightful, their reads might be interested in checking you out.
  5. Don’t engage in feuds with other bloggers. This is not a competition. Trust me, it isn’t.

Well… I think that’s all I have to offer for now. But I’d love to see you all continue the conversation. If you have links about the matter, share them with me! And any ideas you have, I’m all ears!

See you all on the next post!

No NaNoWriMo for me this year

Hello, my pretties! How are you all doing? Well, I hope! I’m doing well enough, though I’ve been having to live without my laptop for a while and hope it’ll be fixed soon.

Regardless, I’m still here and decided to talk about NaNoWriMo. I believe pretty much everyone who writes knows what I’m talking about, but for those who don’t, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It happens every year in November, and the goal is to write 50,000 words during the month. No editing, no thinking too much about it, just writing. Editing comes later.

I tend to love NaNoWriMo, even though November is a very busy month for me. But this year I just don’t have the time or the steam for it.

I had planned on focusing more on the blogs – this one and a little side project I have been working on -, but I don’t even know if that will be possible this month.

So, I guess I will have to wait for next month and see what happens.

What about you all?

Anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year? How’s it going?

By the way, if you want to learn a little bit more about me and get to know an amazing blogger, drop by at Sophia Ismaa’s, where I’ve had the honor of being feature as a guest blogger! Click here to go over there and definitely check out the entire blog! She truly is amazing! I’m repeating myself here, but I don’t care, go check her out!

See you all on the next post!

How I deal with writer’s block

Hello, my pretties! How are you all? Well, I hope!

I’m doing just fine, still enjoying my short vacation (or staycation) and preparing to go back to work on Thursday. Until then, though, I’ll be resting and talking to you guys here.

Writer’s block. These two words are enough to send a chill down a writer’s spine, aren’t they? I know, they sound just as bad as some other I won’t say right now, but might in the future, who knows. For now, let us focus on these two.

I can’t really say no writers have ever dealt with it. My friends usually say I’m a very prolific writer, but even I deal with a block every now and then. So, I though I’d share what I do when that happens below.

  1. I write anyway – Stopping is, at least for me, the worst possible course of action. If I stop writing and wait for “inspiration”, I’ll probably never start again. So the first thing I do is to keep writing – either the project I’m working on or something else, like something off a random writing prompt.
  2. I read – It usually helps me relax a little and jump start my mind so I can continue writing.
  3. I watch a documentary – It can be related to the theme I’m writing about or completely unrelated. It’s just a mental break to let me breathe a little.
  4. I listen to music – I have a pretty varied playlist, and when the block hits me, I pick a few songs I can rely on to help my creativity.
  5. I take a short nap – Resting my brain usually helps, and sometimes I even dream about my project and reach some sort of breakthrough.
  6. I drink – No, not booze, though you can if that’s your jam. I either drink a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of ice water, sometimes with a little bit of sugar if my blood sugar is low at the time.
  7. I take a quick shower – It’s one of those things that help me make my mind work. If I have the time to wash my hair, it’s even better.
  8. I exercise a little – Another thing that helps my brain work. It’s just light exercise for a few minutes, but it helps.
  9. I eat a little – It can be almost anything, though quick snacks make things easier. I always keep almonds and crackers on hand for those moments.
  10. Last but not least, I do the dishes – I have no idea what it is that makes my brain start having ideas as soon as I stand in front of the sink and start washing dishes. I think it’s the result of my utter boredom with this chore.

Well, I guess that’s all I can remember for now. Like I said before, these are not by any means tips. They’re just things I do whenever I feel blocked, in order to help me move past it.

Now it’s your turn, my fellow writers and bloggers: what do you do when you hit a block? Share it with me in the comments! If you have a post of your own about that, I’d love to read it!

See you all on the next post!

Changing habits: Writing

Hello, my pretties! How are you all? Doing well, I hope!

I’ve been doing well enough. Enjoying a short staycation from work until the 27th, and using this time to do some housekeeping and purging items I don’t really need. I’ve never thought I’d enjoy doing home stuff so much, but there we are. I’m getting old. XD

Since I have some free time (I’m still using this time to read a lot, and help my parents with some stuff, as well as spend some time with them), I’ve decided to use it to develop a few new habits. Who hasn’t, right?

So, one of them is writing more. I have been aiming for 1000 words per day, counting only creative writing – my blogs, collaborative writing and solo writing. My solo writing is currently being done by hand on notebooks (I told you all I’m old), but I’ll eventually type them out and count those words.

How has it been going? Terribly! I’m successfully failing on an almost daily basis. x.x

I won’t give up, though. I’ll eventually get to actually writing my 1000 words per day. Or die trying.

What habits have you all been trying to develop? Share them with me in the comments, and your progress too! I like hearing from people who are more successful than I am!

See you all on the next post!

Writers, check your ego at the door

Hello, my pretties! How are you all doing? Well, I hope! I’m well enough that I have no news to share. No news is good news, right? Or so I hear.

With the little (non) update out of the way, let’s go to the subject of today’s post, shall we?

Ego. Such a little word, such a big meaning. Our egos are always in the way whenever we want to do something. Sometimes it’s because we think we can’t make mistakes, so we stop ourselves from doing things we want for fear of looking like fools in front of others. Sometimes we don’t do certain things – learn from others, have others check our work, and other things that can be helpful – because we think we’re so smart, so good or so experienced.

Let me tell you something: you’re not that good. I’m not that good. (Insert famous author you admire here) is not that good. We all make mistakes. We all have a lot more to learn than we’ll ever know. We all need some help – even if this help is just someone telling us that this scene we were so proud of is actually kind of dull, sorry. I know, I know, it stings. But when people tell you they don’t like something, or that this thing you wrote is not as good as you thought it was… listen to them.

You don’t even have to agree with them, or throw your entire manuscript in the trash bin (don’t do it). Just listen. Give yourself time to cool off and then go back to the part of your story they disliked. See if they have a point. Look for a second opinion.

Just don’t assume they’re jealous of you, or that they have no idea what they’re talking about. 

Check your ego at the door. Learn some humility. It will do you a world of good, I promise.

Okay, that’s me getting off of my soap box for now. Do my fellow writers have any more pieces of advice for me? Or a burning desire to tell me I’m a moron and to kindly shut up?

You’re free to do it in the comments below!

See you all on the next post – unless you guys bash me so much I decide I’ll never blog again. (Slim chance of that happening)

How do you know you’re a writer?

Hello, my pretties! Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a fun and safe celebration, and that you’re not too hungover by now. ;) Mine was pretty quiet, staying home and chatting with friends on Discord until bedtime. I’m an old lady, okay? I’m basically 36 going on 80, what can I do?

Okay, well wishes and more than you wanted to know about me aside, let us move on to the post, shall we?

I don’t know if it’s just me, correct me if I’m wrong. But from where I’m standing, writers seem to be the reigning monarchs when it comes to impostor syndrome. Pretty much every writer friend I have suffers from it. And a very frequent question I hear is how do I know I’m a real writer?

Before I go on, as usual, I need to make it clear – as I often do – that I’m not an expert on anything, including writing. Okay, let us move on.

I know it’s hard to consider oneself a real writer when others out there are publishing books, getting deals, making money, etc etc, and you’re sitting there writing on a blog or even writing good novels that don’t really get publishing deals (yet).

But I have two questions for all of those who (like myself) sometimes question themselves.

Are you a real person? With the way technology has been evolving in the past few years, with AI and all that jazz, I have to ask the question, okay? Sorry, no need to get offended. 

Do you write? I know that’s the million dollar question. Are you writing? For a blog, a novel, short stories, what have you? Even if you haven’t gotten a publishing deal yet?

If you have answered “yes” to both of these questions, you’re a real writer. Isn’t that amazing? Hang in there! Keep writing – blogging, writing your short stories, your novel, what have you. You’ll get there one day! Don’t give up!

All right, that’s it for today! It’s your turn to speak now! Have you ever questioned yourself on whether or not you’re a real writer? And what do you write? Share it all with me in the comments!

Oh, and I almost forgot (actually, I forgot and had to come back here and edit this in) to share my final word count from next year: I ended the year with 467,927 words. My goal was to hit 365,000 words (averaging 1,000 words per day), so I’m very happy with this final mark. Here’s hoping I’ll hit my target this year too! Have you hit yours? I’d love for you to share what your target for last year was and whether or not you’ve hit it!

See you on the next post! Love you all! 

Writing diverse characters

Hello, my pretties! How are you all doing? Well, I hope!

Here I am again talking a bit about writing. Bear with me here, will you? I’m by no means an expert on writing, or anything of the sort. Others know a lot more than I do. I simply enjoy sharing my thoughts about writing and talking to others who enjoy literature – either as consumers or creators, or even both.

Diversity.

We hear it a lot nowadays, in several spaces and ways. We talk about diversity in the work place. In friend groups. In society in general.

And, as it can’t be prevented, it’s something that’s discussed when it comes to art as well – more specifically, for this post, writing.

I know writers from both sides of the argument. Some of them believe that diversity is just ‘politically correct bullshit’ some people demand in the books they read. Others believe it’s extremely important to include diverse characters in their books, in order to get closer to their readers.

As for me, I believe diversity is a very positive thing, as long as it makes sense inside the universe people are writing about, and as long as the writer wants to put it in their stories. I know this second point might be a bit controversial for some people. But honestly, I wouldn’t want to see myself represented by a writer who doesn’t want to put me there, and will simply put me there as a token Black character in order to say ‘see? I write diverse characters, now shut up’. That’s not what I want.

But let’s assume people actually want to represent diverse characters in their works. How should they go about it? 

Please note that these aren’t rules, but suggestions and musings.

  1. Do your homework. If you want to write about someone who’s not yourself, do some research. Google things. Use Wikipedia. Watch videos on Youtube. Read books. Watch documentaries or movies. There’s a wealth of information out there.
  2. Treat your subjects with respect. Remember that, despite the fact that it is a character, some real, living people, will see themselves in that character.
  3. Remember we’re all human. We all feel hungry, tired, stressed. We all want to quit our jobs and go sell paintings on the beach or start our own business. We all have money worries, family troubles, and what have you.
  4. Talk to people. If you’re representing real people in your characters, why not talk to them? Once again, the internet is your friend. I have answered long interviews myself in order to help other writers place women like me in their works. Not everyone will say yes, but not everyone will say no.
  5. Use a sensitivity reader. I’ll talk more about that in a future post, but it’s a very valuable resource for any writer.

Well, I guess that’s all I have to offer now. I wish I had some resources to share, but I really don’t have any right at this moment. I will share them if I find something in the future.

For now, though, that’s all I can offer.

And it’s your turn now, dear reader! How do you include diversity in your writing? Is there anything I’ve missed? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

See you all on the next post!